"Wow, this is great stuff.  If anyone ever asks you 'What does a Project Manager do?' direct them to this course." – Leah Henig.

This course distills advice from more than 25 years working in project management.  The largest project I worked on was a $3B helicopter integration effort.  I was also on the PM team for a 140M aircraft retrofit project, and was project manager for a 55M software project, a 20M system integration project, a company process improvement effort, and a range of other projects.  Then I became a consultant and helped dozens of organizations with their project management, including government and non-profits. 

These are the ten most important lessons I learned that contribute to project management success.  The course also includes real life stories of difficult situations I've been in that show what it really takes for a Project Manager to manage in challenging environments.  In two hours, this course will make these lessons learned yours, and give you a 25 year career shortcut. 

  • The Magic Of Accountability.  Leverage the power of accountability, so it gives you the *authority* you need to ensure success.  Properly understood, having accountability means you are the most relaxed person on the project (really).  Includes the magic sentence that will maximize the probability of the organization giving you what you need for success.

  • The Importance Of The WBS.  Why the work breakdown structure (WBS) makes everything else in PM easy.  A story of how I once got a senior, reluctant, and aggressive team to become WBS believers.  A real WBS my team prepared for a 140M aerospace project, and a download of the example WBS for the 45M Magical Devices Version 3 project.

  • The Power Of Process.  The reason that best practice process is so powerful, with statistical proof.  Why the precedence diagram is your most important PM tool, *more* important than the Gantt chart.  A real precedence diagram for that same 140M aerospace project.  And a download of the precedence diagram for the Magical Devices Version 3 project.

  • Planning The Risk Budget.  Why risk management makes the entire PM life-cycle work.  Essential risk planning tips.  Eight common risks you should always consider.  Why you should actively manage only ten risks.  Why you should include budget for risks that only impact time.  And a download of a professional Excel risk register template.

  • Managing The Risk Budget.  Essential tips for managing risks once underway.  Real life advice for updating risk status as your project proceeds.  A rule of thumb for how much risk budget you should have as you proceed.  And the show-stopping sentence that enables you to keep as much risk budget as possible when under pressure to give some up.  

  • Backfitting Scenarios When Needed.  Why requirements should be derived from higher-level scenarios.  How backfitting scenarios helped ensure the success of my 20M project.  How scenario based acceptance testing convinces the customer the project will do what they need, and signs off the requirements at the same time.

  • Make Friends With Procurement.  Why closing is a separate set of activities.  An expensive story about why it is so important to formally close your procurements.  How formal procurement closing prevents additional spending even by mistake.  And why the PM should make friends with all the supporting departments to make your job easier.

  • The Top 3 Drivers Of Project Success.  Why we already know most of the problems and most of the solutions in project management.  A true story about a PM that made all three of the most common mistakes on a single project!  And how the three most important drivers of project success could have saved him and 400K.

  • Focus On The Success Path.  The importance of the success mindset the PM should broadcast to the whole team.  A famous story that illustrates why.  Similar examples from three other fields.  And a real example of how my team was able to shorten a 3.5 year schedule to 3 years because I believed there was a solution when no-one else did, and how we did it.

  • The Benefits Of Telling The Truth.  A time my boss asked me to save an unsaveable project.  How repeatedly telling him the truth, when he obviously did not want to hear it, ended up being the best thing I could do for the project, my team, and my boss.  And how it caused him to trust me, and then promote me to functional manager of a 55 person organization very early in my career.

Includes handy downloadable PDF's of all the key points.  Learning these lessons without having to go through the trouble I did will not only help greatly increase the chances of success for your projects, it will give you a 25 year career shortcut.  The course also earns you two Professional Development Units (PDU’s) in the Business Acumen (Leadership) category. 


William Stewart is a PMI certified Project Management Professional (PMP) who has managed projects for more than 25 years from just a few thousand dollars to 55M, and worked in senior roles on PM teams on projects up to 3B, in the domains of system integration, software, organizational improvement, business process, construction, real estate, research, and others.  He has worked for aerospace, government, academia, and founded a software startup.  He has delivered more than 330 live onsite PM courses to more than 3,300 people, and is author of the Deeply Practical Project Management online course and book.  He has deep experience with project management, risk management, negotiation, systems integration, and software engineering.  He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science for development of an algorithm that builds multi-dimensional geodesic domes in optimum space and time.

Student Feedback

"Decades of valuable project management experience." - Thibaut Lefebvre 

"Project management comes to life!" - April Bly-Monnen 

"Great information for all PMs both new and old, certified or not.  Great use of time." - Gerald Gentle 

"Full of sound advice from years of experience.  Recommend to any new or experienced PM." - Peter Hungiapuko 

"A great course that shares valuable experience and addresses soft skills.  Loved it." - Carlos Camargo 

"In every lesson there is a golden nugget." - Isaac Leal 

"Actionable, real-world advice for both PMs and people interested in project management." - Alex Hadar 

"Clear, rational, calm and friendly, empowering!" - Peter Courtley 

"Good advice about communicating with executives." - Natalie Tangen 

"Very helpful, recommend to all PMs at any level." - Matthew Webber 

Course curriculum

    1. Introduction

    2. How To Report PDU's To The PMI

    1. The Foundation of Success - Convincing Reluctant Teams

    2. Key Points

    1. The Power of Process - A $140M Example

    2. Key Points

    1. Practical Advice - Eight Common Risks - Budgeting Tips

    2. Key Points

    1. Management Advice - Defending Your Risk Budget

    2. Key Points

About this course

  • $75.00
  • 22 lessons
  • 2 hours of video content